Sunday, December 23, 2007

Will Barack pull ahead of Hillary and win in 2008?

Political polls are fickle things, but some (although not all) of them are showing Barack ahead of Hillary in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Should he manage to win in both Iowa and New Hampshire an maybe even South Carolina, will that render him unstoppable? Sure, possibly, but that is speculating too far ahead of actual events.

I think Oprah did give Barack a signifiant boost, but whether it is temporary or sustainable remains unknown. Sad to say, but at a minimum she effectively gave black women "permission" to prioritize race over gender.

Some negative campaigning by Clinton "operatives" probably also led to some people dumping Hillary.

Hillary still has a huge lead at the national level and continues to amass endorsements from super-delegates, but that could erode rather quickly in the face of a combination of strong steps by Barack and big missteps by Hillary. Also, if Edwards drops out after realizing that he has no chance, his delegates may be more likely to swing to Barack's column.

A more interesting poll statistic is that Barack actually polls at least as well if not better than Hillary against the Republican hopefuls at the national level, at least superficially challenging the assertion that Barack is less electable. This also points to the fact that support for Barack is stronger among so-called independents than Hillary. There is also the simple fact that there are far more people who hold a very negative view of Hillary than those who have such negative views of Barack.

So, there there are a number of reasons to believe that a Barack nomination is very possible, but the simple truth is that a lot of factors would have to go very well for him in conjunction with a lot of factors going very badly for Hillary before he could secure a win.

And, of course, there is always the simple fact that most people continue to underestimate Hillary. She does have that survival instinct to set aside whatever needs to be set aside to win. Some people consider compromise as wrong and evil, but most people do in fact recognize that compromise is a real part of life and will be a big part of the role of President.

Barack could sweep both Iowa and New Hampshire and maybe even South Carolina, making him seem unstoppable, but that is really the point where the real campaign gets underway. Some voters may feel that since a win by Hillary at the national level may be inevitable or at least likely, they might as well vote their conscience rather than simply compromising on the electibility issue. But once voters see her falling behind, those concerns about electability and whether the candidate really is ready to be president will surge back to the forefront.

Of course, the real bottom line is that every primary voter has the right to wait until that final moment before actually making up their mind who to vote for.

-- Jack Krupansky


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home